Freshwater Fishes
Fishes are a diverse group that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate (or craniate) animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups. Fish are abundant in most bodies of water.
A typical fish is ectothermic, has a streamlined body for rapid swimming, extracts oxygen from water using gills or uses an accessory breathing organ to breathe atmospheric oxygen, has two sets of paired fins, usually one or two (rarely three) dorsal fins, an anal fin, and a tail fin, has jaws, has skin that is usually covered with scales, and lays eggs. Each criterion has exceptions. Tuna, swordfish, and some species of sharks show some warm-blooded adaptations. Fish range in size from the huge 16-metre (52 ft) whale shark to the tiny 8-millimetre (0.3 in) stout infantfish.
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